There are plentifulness of reasons to question whether WWE should beryllium holding events successful Saudi Arabia and taking wealth from its government, but dissimilar past iterations, this Crown Jewel was an entertaining and well-booked wrestling show.
Crown Jewel is portion of a lucrative and arguable woody WWE entered successful 2018 with the Saudi authorities that has a past of quality close violations, including approving the execution of professional and Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi successful Oct. 2018, and mistreatment of women.
As acold arsenic the wrestling, nary titles changed hands astatine the Mohammed Abdu Arena successful Riyadh connected Thursday, but the Hell successful the Cell clash betwixt Seth Rollins and Edge was a lucifer of the twelvemonth candidate, Xavier Woods got his infinitesimal winning the King of the Ring tourney and the Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar-Paul Heyman storyline lives connected contempt an underwhelming lucifer and adjacent to Crown Jewel.
Here are 5 takeaways from Crown Jewel:
Stuck successful the middle
Reigns is inactive your Universal champion, but we inactive don’t person a wide reply astir wherever Heyman’s allegiances stand. Lesnar had Reigns bushed astatine 1 constituent aft an F5 — the assemblage counted to 10, but the determination knocked retired referee Charles Robinson. Lesnar became angered and aft taking a spear from Reigns started to look astatine Heyman. Lesnar called for Heyman to propulsion the Universal rubric into the ring. The conflicted advocate/special counsel obliged, but tossed the loop straight betwixt Lesnar and Reigns.
After superkicks to Lesnar from the Usos, the Tribal Chief was capable to drawback power of the loop and deed Lesnar with it. It was capable to gain the 1-2-3. Heyman near with Reigns but the champ volition apt inactive person immoderate questions astir his peculiar counsel’s loyalty. The lucifer felt abbreviated and was much of the kick-the-can-down-the-road variety. The 2 champion places for the rematch would beryllium WWE’s peculiar New Year’s Eve occurrence of SmackDown oregon the Royal Rumble.
Excellent Cell Service
Edge and Rollins delivered conscionable an unthinkable Hell successful a Cell lucifer opening the amusement to implicit their feud’s trilogy. The Rated-R superstar won with a Stomp to a seat connected Rollins. It was an perfectly cleanable extremity to this story. It’s what Rollins delivered to Edge 7 years agone successful the conception that sparked this feud and besides the determination Rollins utilized to bushed Edge astatine Madison Square Garden earlier this year.
This match, which told the communicative for neither antheral wanting to springiness in, was filled with callbacks and what-the-heck-are-they-going-to-do-here moments. At 1 point, Edge pushed Rollins disconnected the apical enactment onto the broadside of the cage and Rollins past went done a setup array connected the mode down. It was rather the spot and bump for Rollins and not 1 we person truly seen before. Later on, Rollins delivered a sunset weaponry to Edge done a array from a ladder. Right earlier the finish, Rollins tied a alloy concatenation astir his footwear and superkicked Edge, who aboriginal blocked a 2nd effort with a seat to the groin. This is simply a lucifer of the twelvemonth candidate, and sets up Edge for immoderate imaginable imagination matches connected Raw.
WWE keeps adding layers to this caller mentation of Becky Lynch. The SmackDown women’s champion — who is heading to Raw due to the fact that of the draught — retained her rubric by pinning Sasha Banks portion holding onto the bottommost enactment (perfectly ineligible successful a triple-threat match). The decorativeness did a fewer things. It fto Becky not technically triumph clean, but not truly interruption the rules. This could commencement to go a trend. It protected Belair truthful she tin inactive person different one-on-one lucifer with Lynch erstwhile they some determination to Raw. It besides astir apt sets up Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair astatine Survivor Series.
This volition beryllium acold from ideal, but the 2 volition apt conscionable power titles erstwhile they alteration brands starting Friday connected SmackDown. The was not an all-time large one, but did diagnostic a full clump of moves that included each 3 participants. There was a Disarm-her and Banks Statement connected Belair astatine the aforesaid clip and Lynch executed a treble Disarm-her astatine 1 point. It feels similar thing truly got designed betwixt these three, and possibly it’s for the best.
A fable restored.
Goldberg the monster is backmost — benignant of. The WWE Hall of Famer got his revenge connected Bobby Lashley for putting his hands connected his lad Gage successful a well-booked falls number anyplace match. Lashley attacked Goldberg’s genu aboriginal successful a callback to their SummerSlam match. Then it was each Goldberg aft that. He deed a Jackhammer, a spear done the barricade, bushed the remainder of the Hurt Business disconnected with kendo sticks and ended the lucifer with an awesome spear to Lashley disconnected the stage.
Goldberg was starting to consciousness little peculiar and little than. If WWE plans connected continuing to usage him successful salient roles, helium restored a small successful his allure. It’s a shame it came astatine Lashley’s expense, but helium has capable cachet to beryllium good adjacent aft losing this match. Lashley was lasting beauteous rapidly aft taking the large spear bump.
King Woods sounds beauteous bully and feels truthful right. Woods yet got his infinitesimal by winning the King of the Ring tourney that was the crushed helium got into wrestling successful the archetypal place. He savored each infinitesimal of putting connected the crown. WWE had a accidental to present the fans and 1 of it’s astir beloved wrestlers a peculiar infinitesimal and they didn’t walk it up.
He won with a Limit Breaker elbow to extremity a precise bully and stiff lucifer with Finn Balor. We volition spot what this means to Woods’ aboriginal arsenic helium and chap New Day subordinate Kofi Kingston are some headed to SmackDown. Will Woods commencement to get much singles opportunities, possibly a SmackDown lucifer for the Universal rubric to assistance acceptable up Big E versus Reigns astatine Survivor Series? Does the crown spell to his caput and pb to immoderate hostility betwixt him and Kingston? Whatever happens, WWE got this precise right.
Zelina Vega won the archetypal Queen’s Crown tourney defeating Doudrop with a Code Red successful a coagulated match. It’s a large infinitesimal for the Queens autochthonal Vega and her biggest infinitesimal arsenic a wrestler successful WWE. She had her lucifer chopped from the SmackDown astatine Madison Square Garden connected the 20-year day of her father’s decease connected 9/11, truthful it is simply a small spot unusual — possibly coincidental — to person this infinitesimal travel successful the metropolis 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was calved successful and a state that has different ties to the attack.
That aside, Vega is simply a superb endowment and the fans backmost successful the states attraction astir her. Let’s anticipation this is the commencement of thing genuinely meaningful for her connected Raw. A triumph would person astir apt meant a large propulsion for Doudrop. She has making it to the last to bent her chapeau connected but her spot successful the women’s part feels precise unclear astatine the moment.
Also, enactment to WWE, delight springiness the women much clip to wrestle successful the adjacent Queen’s Crown tournament. Three minutes lucifer doesn’t showcase your endowment arsenic overmuch arsenic the tourney should.
Big E implicit Drew McIntyre to clasp the WWE championship
Big E came retired of this looking similar a cardinal bucks arsenic caller challengers await for him connected Raw. He took everything McIntyre threw astatine him and past immoderate to bushed a erstwhile two-time WWE champion cleanable successful the mediate of the ring. He adjacent jawed and challenged McIntyre early. Big E continues to beryllium built good to what we presume is simply a Survivor Series lucifer with Reigns
RK-Bro defeats A.J. Style and Omos to clasp the Raw tag squad championships
Mattle Riddle rode to the ringing connected a camel — due to the fact that of people helium did. Randy Orton deed an RKO arsenic Styles attempted a Phenomenal Forearm. It acceptable up Riddle for a Floating Bro to extremity the match. WWE continues to support Omos. Excited for his and Riddle’s singles tally whenever they come. I’d hold until 2022.
Mansoor defeats Mustafa Ali
This was the archetypal lucifer betwixt 2 Muslims connected a WWE pay-per-view and the hometown kid went implicit with a cervix breaker. Ali, who is donating his net from Crown Jewel to charity, has been trying to bring retired the slayer instinct successful his erstwhile protege. He got it present successful a elemental babyface-heel match. Ali attacked Mansoor aft the lucifer and Tarek Hamdi — who won a karate metallic medal for Saudi Arabia successful the Tokyo Olympics — came to his aid. Hamdi dropped Ali with a footwear and got a bully popular from the crowd.
The Uso defeated the Hurt concern connected the kickoff show. Somehow the Usos, who wrestled arsenic the babyface here, are inactive connected kickoff shows.
On the kickoff show, Kayla Braxton announced Lesnar vs. Reigns was going to beryllium a nary disqualification match, past 20 minutes aboriginal announced it would spell backmost to a mean lucifer due to the fact that the wrestler wanted nary portion of a DQ match. Just truly unusual stuff.
Biggest winner: Xavier Woods
Biggest loser: Doudrop
Best match: Edge vs. Seth Rollins, Hell successful a Cell